ALL ABOUT 'THE WIZARD OF VEGAS.'
Welcome to 'The Wizard of Vegas' site and please know we are glad you are here. This article is designed for new visitors to the site, or 'newbies' as they have become known in internet terms. The site is very true to the culture of “the internet is for everyone” and anyone is free to join and contribute. However, it is strongly encouraged that you take a few minutes to read this FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) style article as it tells a bit about site history, culture, and a few tech-tips to make your visits more enjoyable and productive. So with that, here is:
Table of Contents
1. Who is this Wizard guy, anyways?
The Wizard is Michael Shackleford, a bio of him is available here. Briefly, Mr. Shackelford is what you used to call the “math guy” back in school. He was an actuary for the Social Security Administration and is the person who figured out how to find the most common names given babies in the USA every year. When you see that list published yearly you are reading a legacy of his work.
He runs this site as a sort of “benevolent king.” People may post whatever the wish, but the site is moderated. Posts and threads may be moved to a more proper place. Personal insults, flame wars, and spam are never tolerated.
2. So tell me more about the site.
Wizard of Vegas” (WoV) is a companion site to “Wizard of Odds” (WoO.) WoO was founded in 1997 and is a must-visit site for anybody interested in gambling. After years of popularity with WoO, WoV was founded to be more of a Las Vegas-oriented forum site while WoO remains as a gambling site where users may send questions, but The Wizard is the only one who posts content. While it was designed to be Vegas-oriented, WoV has evolved to be a site where people who like gambling talk about a range of subjects.
3. Are there rules for posting?
Yes and no. There are some “official rules” and breaking them can get you suspended, here is a thread on that subject. In general, the site is designed to fall somewhere between “PG” and “PG-13.” There are a few areas, mainly the “free speech zone” that gets a little more heated. But even there it should not be anything more than the level of say “NYPD Blue.” Intelligent discussion does not require foul language. Avoid personal insults and attacks-attack the issue, not the person. If you want to use an article from a published source, link to the article. Do not cut-and-paste more than a sentence or two. This is a legal issue and taken very seriously. Post spam somewhere else, or better yet nowhere. Ever.
Think of the site as a “kingdom” not a democracy nor a dictatorship. If the site owners have a problem with behavior, action will be taken. You do not have a court to appeal to. However, it is not a dictatorship where folks with the “wrong” opinion are executed. Using common sense will avoid 99% of potential problems.
4. Can I post about “x?”
Probably. Just put it in the right place. In the first 18 months the site was open there were discussions from pure Vegas casinos to the crisis in Egypt. Black holes have been discussed as have been Blackjack Rules. A good idea is to read and lurk at first, see what is going on, then answer within a few threads. After that, start a discussion if you like. Think of it as visiting a new neighborhood bar. When you walk in you don’t know anybody or what is acceptable. You behave carefully at first, gradually getting to know people. Soon you know what and what not to do. Internet Forum Boards tend to accept new people, but it takes a little time.
5. I want to tell everybody about this great new betting system where.........
There is a “betting system” forum, post it there. Be warned that almost everyone here has heard almost every system and we know none work. All casino bets have some negative expectation component, including craps “free odds” bets that requires a line bet to place. Until (-1) + (-1) > 0 no system will survive more than the short term. “Systems peddlers” get very fast, loud, negative response here. If a person somehow did have a system that worked they would not be telling about it on a message forum, they would be busy turning their local casino into an ATM.
6.What is with the “cheating boyfriend questions? Are they for real?
Years ago the companion WoO site got listed high in Google for the question “is my boyfriend cheating on me?” If you try it now it still comes up as #2. The Wizard answered some of them over the years and as he did, more came in and letters came in asking why he was using space on a gambling website to post the answers. Perhaps they keep coming as the women who write them want a logical mind to answer. On WoV, sometimes Wizard posts a question for the group and other times the women sign in and post.
7. “Are they real?”
I will answer in the form of a story. I used to work with a guy who formerly worked for “Penthouse” magazine and said this about the letters section. He said, “They all come in from readers, we do not make them up. After that it is your call.” I have seen enough in my time to vote “real.”
8. How do I deal with a user I do not like?
The best way is to ignore what they post. If this is a problem you can set them to an “ignore” status by clicking on “top contributors” or “newest members” at the intro page. Then find them, then click “block member.” When you do this their posts will show as “blocked” with an option of “show it to me anyways.” You may also see them quoted in replies. If the person personally insults or threatens you there is the option to contact management via the “contact” button on the same intro page. The best policy is to remember those who want respect give respect.
9. Why are some names in green and some in brown?
Green is an administrative-level user. Brown is a “restricted user” or put another way, someone who has refused to work and play nicely with other members. In the early days there was no need for a suspension policy. Actions of a very small few made one necessary.
10. I see an option for “private messages.” Can I message anybody?
You may send a “private message” to anyone you wish, but they may not have turned on the feature. Some people do not want to talk to anybody privately, please respect that. Also please do not use this feature inappropriately. A sure path to suspension-for-life would be to send a threatening or insulting PM. Finally, there is a zero-tolerance policy for posting a PM in a forum for all to see.
11. So, any other advice on the tone of the site? What about the technical advice?
Not much, just enjoy the site as a mature adult who likes intelligent conversation on a wide-range of topics. Don't feel the need to post in **every** forum, stick to what you like. Not everyone will enjoy every topic. You might make friends in real life here! Several “meets” have or will happen on both coasts! Participate at the level you are comfortable.